120712: Train.

Today was the day the house was going to look amazing & holiday-happy & clean & put-together.  Here’s how this went down:

The ballet teacher no-showed this morning.  So Lulu & I regrouped, went to the store for weekend food.  I asked if she’d like to make cookies but she suggested chocolate cake.  Who can say no to chocolate cake?  Not this gal.  I had pinned a recipe for chocolate sheet cake so we got the ingredients for that, went home, and danced around to a little Kenny Rogers.  I measured most of the ingredients & we got to work.  Kids in the kitchen is fun, right?  I always allow myself to operate under the illusion that it will be fun.  That I’ll give directions to mix ingredients, and we’ll smile and it will be…fun.  I try, I really do but even when they don’t ruin whatever we’re making, I usually at least want them to skedaddle even if I don’t go as far as to tell them to get out.

Today I put a bowl in front of her & said, “I have to add this because the other part is really hot & I don’t want it to splatter.  You’ll stir.”  She said, “I’ll dump this in?” (holding the box of baking soda).  I said, “NO!  You’ll stir.  Here:  here’s the bowl, here’s the spoon.  Just stir.”  I pushed the bowl right up to her & turned around to check the recipe.  And…she dumped the entire ever-lovin’ box of baking soda into the batter.  How is one supposed to handle that?  Laugh it off?  Blow up?  Launch into a discussion about baking soda?  Well I’ll tell you what I did.  I pursed my lips and pointed up to her room.  Game over.  There was much crying (on her part, I was mostly pissed because at that point, I really just wanted some damned chocolate cake).  I tried to scoop it out, baked it, let it cool, scraped it into the trash & started over.  Alone.

We got enough done in the living room that we could get the train put together.  Bradyn took it upon himself to get it all out & assemble the tracks this afternoon.  He got it almost done but was a little frustrated with the circumference of the tree vs. the length of the tracks.  Brian went straight to it when he got home & got it going.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to have a Shiner with a side of ice cream & chocolate cake.

120612: Empty.

I’m taking a really great workshop at The Bloom Forum with Becky Early & Ryan Muirhead on film.  I love shooting film but am usually just playing around.  There’s definitely a science to exposing correctly with film.  There are a lot of numbers involved.  Sometimes I use an iPhone app to meter.  Sometimes I guess.  A lot of the time, I shoot in Av Mode.  I’m loving the workshop, I’m loving reading the explanations and lessons from two photographers I really admire & faithfully follow on their blogs, instagram & facebook.  It’s been the perfect balance to keeping my nose to the grindstone this week.

Today when Ellie was caroling with Daisies at a nursing home (hey yeah so, first graders don’t really know the words to many Christmas carols; sad but true), I put a movie in for the other two & indulged in the videos and reading I hadn’t caught up on in the workshop.  I learned photography this way.  Reading tutorials.  Watching videos.  Getting inspired and antsy to try the techniques myself.  Letting my creative brain take over for a while & letting my practical brain just take a little breather.  With the hour we had between activities, I ran home, grabbed my film camera & took them to Urban Swirl for frozen yogurt and metering practice.  I really rocked it.  Took my time.  Thought through the numbers.  I was all like, “Oh now I’m gonna be such a good film photographer.  I’m so smart.”.  We ran in to Walgreens to drop it off & it wasn’t winding.  Remember winding the film at the end of a roll?  It wouldn’t wind!

The sweet girl at the counter got out this rad black tent box thing & let me put the camera in there to take it out.  I popped it open and it was already wound.  When I went back to get it, she said it was blank.  Empty.  Nothingness.  Some specs on one frame and then just nothing.  Fabulous!

So instead of a really rockin’ film image for today, we have this:

Brandi Graves - That wine bottle is waaaaay to full!! 😉

120512: Wednesdays.

Wednesdays are pretty sweet.  This morning I got the kids on the bus at 7:30, made a bowl of oatmeal, texted with a friend concerned that I might actually put soda in coffee, offering to take Lily to gymnastics.  But it was watch week (one of the only times you can sit upstairs on the bleachers and see the class the whole time) so I wanted to…you know, watch.  I said that I was up & going.  That was a total lie b/c I think I fell asleep with my head in Lily’s lap within 5 minutes.  It wasn’t sleep-sleep but it was some pretty fantastic dozing.  Then we really got up, went to gymnastics & then lunch with a friend.  Lulu is pretty sure it’s her right to invite people to lunch as she’s putting her shoes on after class.  Sometimes awkward but today it made for a really pleasant lunch date.

We needed fries to go with our turkey burgers for dinner.  So we went to Sam’s.  We got 42 lbs. of sweet potato fries & a “few” other things just to get home and find a regular-sized bag of sweet potato tots in the freezer.  Figures.  We’re good on baby carrots and paper goods for the next year and a half though.

Lily took a nap and I wandered around pretending to work on the mess I shared yesterday but really I was just listening to The Big Chill record & eating the Panera chocolate chip cookie I pretended to get for the big kids.  They got home & we had to leave within the hour for CCD.  After dropping them off, I was headed downstairs to get on the elliptical & decided to grab a few shots of the two of us since we spend all day together on Wednesdays.

Is that a little similarity I see?  Aw, and lookit her little pudgy hand.

Oh Lulu.

That last one is pretty much SOOC (straight out of camera) just because I wanted a clear shot of her bizarre eye color.

120412: Mess.

This is the week.  The week I do it all.  The week I drink soda and coffee and maybe put soda in my coffee and say up until all hours and take naps & serve hot dogs for all three meals.  As I write this, I’m denying myself an 11pm bathroom break until I post this and move on to more editing.  People need their pictures for holiday cards and presents.  Brian was so great to put up such a beautiful tree but it’s apparent that he’s done & is now raising an eyebrow to both me and the leftover enormous mess.  I don’t have time for eyebrows this week.  So when he said, “Uh, when are you gonna…so the rest of this…what’s your pla..?”, I cut him off and said, “Oh don’t you worry, this is the week.  This place will be in amazing shape when you get home from work on Friday!”.  I said it all chipper and squeaky which is sure to have given away the unlikelihood of that happening, but he seems content to pretend to believe me for now.  He’s picking up a lot of slack with kids and dishes and meals and folding laundry and even bedtime.  So I just have to stay focused.  This is the week!  There’s time for bathroom breaks and eyebrows next week!

Speaking of the potty, tonight when I put Lily to bed early (because she didn’t take a nap and I was totally up for a bedtime nap of my own), she told me that she uses toilet paper a lot of the time when she goes to the bathroom.

I also want to add two outtakes from today.  I’m doing this project to document our life but I’m also doing it for my photography mojo.  If this is the last day I do it, I’ll have succeeded because I did two things:  1) shot my kid doing homework on the couch, listening music, in nice light & our mess & 2) allowed myself 90 seconds of creativity in attempting to shoot the record player.  The resulting shot was taken from above on the stairs, camera held out in front of me & upside down.

120312: Fridge.

Yeah so the great part about this project is that it will force me to get my camera out.  Maybe someday soon I’ll get my camera out during the day.  Today wasn’t the day.  It was 10pm and I thought of several things I could shoot but when I really thought about what today was about, it’s the new fridge.  Ours died when we were gone for Thanksgiving (like a dog, it wanted to go somewhere to be alone to die which I don’t know if I appreciate or resent).  We realized it Monday morning which just so happened to be Cyber Monday.  Deals galore.  I did a little (and when I say a little, I mean a little because I only had a few hours) comparison shopping, picked a model, priced it out & it was done.  It arrived today.  Now to fill it with moldy leftovers and 14 kinds of barbeque sauce.  I can’t wait.